The Crash of Halifax NP934



The Crash of Halifax NP934


A section of six pages referring to the crash of the Halifax.
Page 1 simply states 'The Crash'.
Page 2 is a report of the crash in French and an eye witness report in English by Jean Bodart.
Page 3 is a copy of a photograph which appears on page 2. A man is standing on the fuselage of the Halifax.
Page 4 is a translation of the French report on page 2.
Page 5 is a copy of a map showing five marked locations. There is one circle near Charleroi with 'Twilley - 51'.
Page 6 is a second copy of the report and research by Eddy Daivier.

Temporal Coverage



Five printed sheets and one photograph


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SJonesHB1866363v10026, SJonesHB1866363v10027, SJonesHB1866363v10028, SJonesHB1866363v10029, SJonesHB1866363v10030,


The Crash
[page break]
[newspaper article in French with black and white photograph]
[inserted] The Engine of Hugh’s plane is now in a museum in Laroche, Belgium. [/inserted]
[page break]
This is the story that a young man from Pesche lived in 1944:
On December the 18th 1944 at about 6 a.m., I was getting up to go to work when I saw a huge fireball followed by a big explosion, a big boom.
I was quite confused: what was the matter? I thought about it and I imagined that it was a collision between two planes. When everything calmed down, I left to go to work.
About two hours later, I talked to two cyclists who were coming back from the impact place: they confirmed that there had been an aircrash but they didn’t seem to know much about it.
I decided to go there to learn more about that story. I wanted to see by myself what happened. I saw a heap of scrap iron which was spread on at least 2 km and a member of the crew was lying on the road, disembowelled. That was awful. I wandered around the crash and I saw two big pieces of the cabin. I realised it was a bomber because there were three large bombs just there and I saw an enormous wheel, bigger than me!
I supposed that there were other aviators lying around.
As I was working on a nearby field, I found the impact of the two big engines: because of the shock, they were nearly burried [sic] in the ground. the next year, the mine clearance service discovered more than twenty bombs burried [sic] in the ground. We didn’t know that and the field had been ploughed since then!
I was 18 years old at that moment. It really struck me. I think about it from time to time: it will never leave me.
Jean Bodart
8, Rue C. Denis
5660 Pesche
[inserted] Wittness [sic] to the crash [/inserted]
[page break]
[black and white photograph of man standing beside the wreckage of an aircraft]
NP 934
[page break]
La Guerre Aerienne dans la Region de Charleroi:
One of the two was the Halifax 111 NP934 piloted by Bernard Twilley. The plane carried a crew of eight men. The flight officer, Edgar Baron, on an initiation mission, flew as second pilot.
The Halifax collided, perhaps on the return journey, with one of its counterparts probably of 434 Squadron.
Twilley must have lost control of his plane which crashed at Montigny-le-Tilleul in the Bois de Prince above the hamlet of M de Bomeree.
The eight aviators perished in this crash.
The second plane would have crashed a little further away and six out of seven crew members were buried at La Fosses.
[page break]
[page break]
Your brother was one of the youngest (if not the youngest) airmen of 51 squadron to be killed during world war 2. He was an air gunner on a Halifax Mk3 Heavy Bomber – NP934 MH-V. We became involved in the research after seeing a post on an Ex-RAF notice board from an Eddy Davier who had been trying to trace the crew for over 2 years.
Eddy lives in Thuin a small village in Belgium near to where your brother’s plane came down. It all started for him when he got talking an old man in the village who told him that a bomber had crashed in the woods between Montignies-le-Tilleul and Gozee during world war 2. Eddy decided to find out as much information as he could and write a book so the young people of the town wouldn’t forget.
Here is one of his many posts searching for the crew ………….
My name is Eddy DAIVIER, 39 years old and I’m living in BELGIUM. The 18 december [sic] 1944, a bomber crashed near the town where I’m living. It was the halifax [sic] NP934 MH-V from 51 squadron. It took off from Snaith at 02.58 to ops to Duisburg in Germany but it never see Germany. It crashed into a wood south of Charleroi in Belgium. All crew members were reported killed. Flying Officer Bernard Mark TWILLEY was the pilot of this bomber and the others [sic] people died were Edgar Harold Baron, Roy Challinor HITCHEN, William John HILLEBRAND, Hugh Brenton JONES, Roberts HALL, Carl Winston CASSINI and Ricard HOLDEN. I’m not a full time writer but my wish is to write a little book to help the inhabitants of my town to never forget. I looks information about this crew or about life at Snaith between september [sic] and december [sic] 1944. I hope perhaps to find veterans who knew these people, it’s important for me to imagine who was their life.
Here are the crew and operations list.
Halifax Mk. III – NP934 MH-V
151201 Flying Officer Bernard Mark TWILLEY (Pilot)
149632 Flying Officer Edgar Harold BARON (2nd Pilot)
1383970 Warrant Officer Harold W.J HILDEBRAND (Air Gunner)
1866363 Flight Sergeant Hugh Brenton JONES (Air Gunner)
2203456 Sergeant Roy Challinor HITCHEN (Flight Engineer)
1457899 Flight Sergeant Roberts HALL (Wireless Operator)
154240 Flying Officer Carl Winston CASSINI (Bomb Aimer)
1671139 Sergeant Richard HOLDEN (Navigator)
10 September: Le Havre
11 September: Nordstern Oil Synthetic Plant
12 September: Munster
14 September: Wilhemshaven
15 September: Kiel
17 September: Boulogne. Crash take off. Sergeant DUNCKLEY died.
[inserted] X [/inserted] 14 October: Duisburg



“The Crash of Halifax NP934,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024,

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